Sunday, November 3, 2019

From Man to Woman and Back Again: Tiresias, Vat. Myth. I.16

Teresias dum iret per silvam, vidit duos serpents coire, quos cum virga percussisset, in feminam mutatus est. Post octo annos dum videret eos similiter concumbentes et eos rursus percuteret, in pristinam restitutus est naturam. 

--Vat. Myth. I.16

While Tiresias was wandering through the woods, he saw two snakes mating. When he struck them with a stick, he was changed into a woman. Eight years later, when he saw snakes mating in a similar fashion, he struck them again, and returned to his original shape (in pristinam naturam).

Name:  ???
Date:  10th c. CE (?)
Works:  Mythographi Vaticani*

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

Little is known about the author or origin of the collection of myths known as the Vatican Mythographers, but the work’s first editor Angelo Mai found the collection on a manuscript dating back to the 10th century CE. This volume is a collection of three different mythographers who have assembled various Greco-Roman myths; although many of these myths are basic summaries in Latin, some of them are either analyzed as allegories or compared to Christian thought.  
 LATE LATIN (10th c. CE ?)
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE